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Meet Little Miss Sassypants

She was an easy baby. Much easier than her brother. To the point where I distinctly remember telling myself that this was the calm before the storm. I knew I’d pay for it one day. Although, I thought it would be the teenaged years before payback started.

Well, I’ve learned in the past year that two is the new twelve. I thought I’d lived the terrible twos, but I hadn’t seen nothin’ yet! This girl is sassy! She is the most stubborn person I’ve ever met! Her phrase of choice since around 18 months: “ME DO IT!”

To the untrained eye, she appears to be a very content little girl. But that is simply part of the “arrangement.” As long as I don’t tell, suggest or force her to do anything, she’s a perfect little angel. So the arrangement is, when we are in public, I try REALLY hard to gently shepherd her in the right direction without telling her what to do, where to go, how to go about it, etc. Bribes are an essential part of any outing. (Although I steer away from the word “bribes” and often opt for “physical objects [or food] to encourage persuasion of difficult people.”)

Well, let’s just say that she sure knows how to tell ME where to go! (Not in so many words of course, more so in high-pitched screams, with head tilted back and fists clenched – and if she really wants to make a point, throwing herself onto the floor.)

As soon as she clues in that I would like things to go a certain way, she will go out of her way to steer things in the complete opposite direction. One minute she’ll be asking to leave the park, and as soon as we agree, she doesn’t want to leave. Or she’ll beg for a pair of socks to wear to bed when it’s over thirty degrees outside, only to scream at you that she doesn’t want them after all and she wants them placed back in the same drawer they came from one minute ago, immediately. These things, in writing, sound rather inconsequential. But what you must understand, it is a continuous stream of difficult behavior from this child from dawn until way past dusk. Every little thing is a battle.

Bedtime is the worst. I could probably get by just fine if it wasn’t for bedtime. We’ve tried routines, we’ve tried “crying it out”, we’ve tried to do things her way, our way, grandma’s way, and nothing works. If we do things her way, she tells you exactly how it’s going to go. She wants a book. Now another. And now the first one again. This loop could last for hours, but usually we have to put our foot down. [buzzer] First mistake: cutting off the books. You receive 5 minutes of screaming for your infraction. Now she wants her blankie. And another. And the one with the polka dots, can’t forget that one. And where’s the one with the stripes? Laundry? Uh oh! [buzzer] Second infraction: penalty is repeated whining “ I need my striped blankie”, followed by full-on sobbing on a broken-record repeat cycle until you finally cave and get the damn blankie, dirty from being dragged around the neighbourhood all afternoon, and let her have it. The bright side is, all this blankie drama has distracted her from her other 12 favourite blankies that she MUST have in her bed or she won’t go to sleep. Moving on now to “babies.” Stuffies, dollies, random troll dolls from the nineteen-sixties that she found in the basement at Grandma’s house, the baseball she stole from the neighbour girl that we keep meaning to give back (except that it’s made it’s way into the way-over-complicated bedtime routine and might take a few more days to slowly phase out.) Her water cup. Her back-up water cup. Really child! You’re going to bed, not on a cross-continental trip to Tibet! Although, perhaps you could use one of those. There’s probably a LOT you could learn there. Like how to go to BED!

The bedtime routine continues. She wants you to lie down. She wants to chat about the boy at daycare who hit her FOUR WEEKS AGO. She will repeat this story every night for the next six months I’m sure. (What she won’t tell you is what she did to have it coming! That part is conveniently forgotten.) She wants to hold hands. She wants you to sing “I want to hold your hand.” As adorable as the swaying interlocked hands and the two year old’s Beatle reference is, it is now an hour past bedtime. You don’t want to hold anyone’s hand. You want to hold a glass of wine, a good book, food you can binge-eat, the tv remote… anything else! But you cave, and sing about three rounds of the chorus and then finally give up.

Now, little too late, you try to regain control of the whole event. “Close your eyes, or I’m going to go.” After way too many warnings, you finally get up out of the bed. (Screaming picks up again.) Then the nightly bedtime threats: if you don’t stop crying I’m going to go. I’m going to close your door. I’m going to leave this house and never come baaaack!!! (The third one is reserved for extra special nights only.)

Well, you can see where this is going. Nowhere. It usually ends in both of us screaming, until she finally gives up and goes to sleep.

I don’t know how our neighbours live with us.

Please tell me it gets better for a couple years between now and the hormonal years!

In the meantime, I will live for the daytime, and the moment when the house goes silent at night. I will disregard the two hours of agony in between. The day always comes to an end, and bedtime always finds its place one way or another. Even if, at the end of the day, little Miss Sassypants happens to be wearing flip flops to bed (or clip-clops as she calls them.)

PS: You still want to trade RL?

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